The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which has been simultaneously broadcast on TNT and TBS in recent years, will no longer have a home at the Ted Turner-founded networks. A SAG-AFTRA representative confirmed the news that the show is now looking for a new broadcasting network yesterday to The Hollywood Reporter.
The annual awards ceremony launched on NBC in 1995 but moved to TNT in 1998. TBS also began simulcast the ceremony in 2007.
In February, the SAG Awards returned to a live in-person event at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, following COVID-19 pandemic restrictions last year. The show had been previously based at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall since 1997.
This year’s ceremony, which honored the coming-of-age comedy-drama, CODA, with the top prize – Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – scored 1.8 million viewers across TNT and TBS. That was an increase from the previous telecast, which garnered 957,000 total viewers.
This year’s SAG Award winners included Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur, all of whom went on to also win in their respective categories at the Academy Awards. Netflix’s Squid Game won awards for two of its stars, Lee Jung-jae and HoYeon, as well as for best stunt ensemble. Succession and Ted Lasso won the ensemble awards in the drama and comedy series categories, respectively.
SAG·AFTRA is currently looking for a new network to broadcast its awards show beginning next year. But no deal has been made yet on behalf of the guild.
In their statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said, “SAG Awards is engaged in discussions with Warner Bros. Discovery as well as other networks and streamers regarding the broadcast rights to the show. While the TNT Network has advised us that they do not expect to conclude a new licensing agreement with the SAG Awards prior to the expiration of the exclusive negotiating window, we are exploring multiple other options.
“Engaging in negotiations for the broadcast of the show is not unusual and has occurred several times over the history of the SAG Awards. This is no different. These discussions will continue as they normally are done and will not be conducted in the public eye. As such, we have no further comment at this time,” the statement added.
This year’s SAG Awards ceremony was also the last for executive producer Kathy Connell. She has produced the show since its inception nearly three decades ago.
TNT and TBS’ decision to no longer air the SAG Awards is the latest programming change for the Turner networks following the completion of Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia last month. The TBS comedy series, Kill The Orange-Faced Bear, which was set to star Damon Wayans Jr., was cancelled a week before it was scheduled to go into production. It was the first major WarnerMedia entertainment project that Discovery decided to end.
Warner Bros. Discovery has pledged to deliver $3 billion in cost savings from the deal. The decision to no longer air the SAG Awards on TNT and TBS comes as the conglomerate is examining its newly acquired assets. As a result, the networks are also turning away from developing new scripted projects.